Charlie Kaufman's TV Show Stars Michael Cera & Catherine Keener

It's been six years since Kaufman's last film credit – 2008's Synecdoche, New York (unless you count Kung Fu Panda 2 on which he was an uncredited script consultant) – and he won't be returning just yet. His TV pilot How and Why shoots next month in North Carolina with a cast not usually associated with cable sitcoms. Sally Hawkins and former collaborator Catherine Keener have just been announced to join the single-camera comedy alongside the already confirmed John Hawkes and Michael Cera.

Kaufman will write and direct the show that's as intricate as you'd expect from the screenwriter of Being John Malkovich. Hawkes will play Goodman Hesselman, the former host of a children's TV science programme also called 'How and Why'. He is hired by another studio boss (Cera) to replicate the show without breaking any copyright laws – the bigger problem being Goodman is more comfortable with nuclear reactors than social interactions. Oh yeah, there's also a supernatural subplot.

It's quite a lot for a 22-minute pilot, so hopefully FX will approve a series order. Kaufman actually started out writing for TV comedies like Get a Life and The Dana Carvey Show. Plus, he already has directorial experience with Synecdoche, New York and its similar show-within-a-show storyline. Crucially, FX is the same network that granted Louis CK what is now heralded as "The Louis CK deal" – complete creative control in exchange for a modest budget. Like True Detective, this is already must-see TV.

Via Variety.
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